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US $ 39.8 m World Bank grant for water sanitation project

Sri Lanka has signed an agreement with the World Bank for the second Community Water Supply & Sanitation Project at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Finance on June 24.

The International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank has provided a grant of US $ 39.8 Million (approximately Rs. 3841 million) for the implementation of the Second Community Water Supply & Sanitation Project (2nd CWSSP). The total project cost is US $ 62.4 million (approximately Rs. 6021 million) which comprised of US $ 39.8 million from IDA, US $ 10.7 million (approximately Rs. 1032 million) from the Government contribution and US $ 11.9 million (Approximately Rs. 1148 million) from the local communities.

The US $ 39.8 million of IDA funds can be considered as the biggest ever grant extended to Sri Lanka by the World Bank.

Under this project, support will be extended to the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Programmes in the North and East, North West and the Central Provincial Councils. The Southern Province (Hambantota District) will be included to the project after a feasibility study.

The development objective of the project is to increase service coverage and achieve effective and sustainable Water and Sanitation Services in rural communities. This objective will be achieved through (a) Implementing demand responsive and sustainable Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Services, providing safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to the rural communities and (b) Strengthening capacities of key stakeholder of central and local governments, communities and partner organizations, to deliver and manage sustainable water supply and sanitation services.

Major benefits of the project are : (i) time savings in accessing water supply for drinking and domestic purposes (ii) public health benefits from improved water services, increased sanitation coverage and improved hygiene practices; (iii) more equitable sustainable and transparent framework for government assistance in this sector and (iv) strengthened private and public sector stakeholder leading to improved and more efficient service delivery.

In this function, W.D. Ailapperuma, Secretary to the Ministry of Housing & Plantation Infrastructure said "This project is aimed at supplying safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to around 1000 villages, 12 small towns and selected estates, within the three provinces, during project period of 6 years commencing from July 2003.

This project is unique in many ways. The methodology applied to this project had been tested during the implementation of the First Community Water Supply and Sanitation Project (1st CWSSP) and found to be very successful. The first pilot project has been rated as the 'Best Practice' and 'Well Managed' project by the World Bank among 200 similar projects in the world. In the process of implementation, need and the demand of the communities are catered through a mobilisation mechanism leading to an emergence of a Community Based Organisation, which will take the total responsibility of planning, designing and construction of water supply and sanitation facilities. More importantly, the responsibility of operation and maintenance of the facilities constructed will be undertaken by the beneficiary organisation, relieving the Government and the Local Authorities of heavy burden."

The Project Agreement was signed on Tuesday in Colombo by Peter Harrold, Country Director of the World Bank and Charitha Ratwatte, Secretary, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the World Bank and the Sri Lanka respectively.

The grant agreement worth of US $ 39.8 million for the second phase of the Community Water Supply and Sanitation Project (CWSSP) was signed at the Secretariat of the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday. The Project Agreement was signed by Peter Harrold, Country Director of the World Bank and Charitha Ratwatte, Secretary, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the World Bank and Sri Lanka respectively. W.D. Ailapperuma, Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure and W. Piyasena, Director of the CWSSP are also in the picture. - Picture by Susantha de Silva.

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